City of Moreland Urban Agriculture Policy Snapshot

    City of Moreland Urban Agriculture Policy Overview

As with many other inner Melbourne municipalities, the City of Moreland has an active and enthusiastic community of backyard and community gardeners. Many groups and individuals have been engaged with the City of Moreland in the development of an urban agriculture strategy over the past two years, but still as of October 2016 no commitment to any strategy has been made by council. The process did however culminate in the development of a draft Food Systems Framework, which has been out for public comment since the start of 2016.

Following extensive community engagement and consultation, the Moreland Food Systems framework weMoreland Food System Strategynt to Council on 7 October 2015, with three proposed goals:

  1. sustainable food system that contributes to a more resilient community and a healthier environment
  2. A just food system that ensures food is socially and economically accessible to everyone in the community, and
  3. vibrant food system that protects and nurtures food, culture celebrates diversity and builds community.                                                                                                  

Background and Overview

Moreland Council has a number of plans, policies and procedures in areas relating to food and urban agriculture, and is currently in the process of developing a holistic strategy as part of their Urban Agriculture and Food Production Strategy Project 2015 (Seeding Change, 2015). There are a number of community groups, networks and individuals in Moreland involved in a range of work relating to food systems and urban agriculture, that include growing at home, various social enterprise initiatives, community gardens, free food events, food swaps, farmers markets and food festivals. In addition, Moreland Council provides a range of information, links and resources relating to gardening, urban agriculture, water management, sustainable design, waste management, and climate change. (Seeding Change, 2015)

Review of Policies, Plans and Procedures Referencing Urban Agriculture and Related Areas

Name of Document Reference to Urban Agriculture and Related Areas
Home Harvest Booklet
  • Outlines steps to plan, establish, and maintain sustainable home gardening systems
  • Includes instructions for worm farming and composting
  • Lists community gardening groups and opportunities to exchange homegrown produce

(Sustainable Gardening Australia 2012)

Moreland Genetically Modified (GM) Food Plan
  • Stipulates how Moreland City Council will promote GM-free food throughout the municipality.

(Moreland City Council 2012a)

Moreland Household Survey 2013
  • Summarises census statistics regarding food security, production, and access in Moreland.

(Jenner & Roberts 2014)

Moreland Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2013 – 2017
  • Recognises food access as a social determinant of health. Provides resources on and information on the eight community gardens in Moreland
  • Recognises and commits to partner with community groups like the Moreland Food Gardens Network (MFGN), Moreland Community Gardens Network (MCGN), CERES, and PepperTree Place among others, that enable people in the Moreland community to share information & experiences as well as to strategically plan & collaborate to improve food access (through farmers markets, food swaps, food events, and food festivals).
  • Lists a number of strategies to improve access to healthy and affordable food
  • Acknowledges food insecurity and poor food access in some parts of the municipality.

(Moreland City Council 2013)

Moreland Open Space Strategy 2012 – 2022
  •  Identifies that there is growing demand for community gardens and acknowledges their potential to address food insecurity
  • Limited by the restrictive use of public spaces for community garden purposes

(Moreland City Council 2012d)

Moreland Nature Strip Beautification Guidelines 2012 – 2022
  • Acknowledges potential to grow food in nature strips.

(Moreland City Council 2012c)

Moreland Street Landscaping Strategy 2012 – 2022
  • Addresses concerns about planting fruit trees in public space, including risks to public safety, high maintenance costs, pest and disease proliferation, and lower shading and cooling benefits than other tree varieties
  • Commits to investigating potentially appropriate fruit tree varieties for planting in nature strips.

(Moreland City Council 2012b)

Moreland Waste and Litter Strategy 2014 – 2017

 

 

  • Addresses food waste by optimising home composting and encouraging food waste avoidance
  • Provides information on the scale of food waste in Victoria, promotes a free membership for the Food Know How program.
  • See Moreland’s A to Z guide on Waste and Recycling

(Moreland City Council 2014c)

Zero Carbon Evolution – Moreland in 2020

 

  • Various policies that recognise the carbon footprint of the food system throughout all its stages
  • Commitment to 22% emissions reduction by 2020.

(Moreland City Council 2014d)

Watermap 2020
  • Establishes the strategic direction like for sustainable water management in Moreland, as well as a water sensitive urban design projects
  • Provides information on the benefits of water tanks, procedures and best practice for water usage and water efficiency measures

Review of Existing or Developing Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Strategies

Moreland Council has addressed issues relating to food growing distribution, health, waste, and management of public open space in a number of its existing strategies and policies, but it has only recently attempted to consolidate these into a comprehensive food policy strategy (Seeding Change, 2015). The Moreland Urban Agriculture and Food Production Framework (2015) has been developed as part of Urban Agriculture and Food Production Strategy Project 2015, and is to be used by Council and the community to better guide, support and implement urban food system initiatives, and ultimately form the basis of an Urban Agriculture and Food Production Strategy for the City of Moreland. The Framework has clear goals, objectives, outcomes and feedback mechanisms integrated throughout, and will be accompanied by an implementation plan that is currently in development. (Seeding Change, 2015).

Moreland UA and Food Production FrameworkThe Framework is highly integrated into Moreland Council’s broader vision for the future of the community. It supports and consolidates a number of the strategies and actions outlined in existing policy documents as reviewed in section (ii). The Framework appears to be highly integrated into the Moreland City Council Plan (2013 – 17), and makes clear reference and links to The Municipal Health and Wellbeing Act (2008), and The Statewide Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan (2015-44) (Seeding Change, 2015).

It provides a definition and understanding of food systems that recognizes the interconnectedness of all stages of the food cycle (Seeding Change, 2015). The Framework draws on a broad set of stakeholder perspectives in its development and justification. Recommendations and next steps are offered in three groups, all of which address the short and long term opportunities relating to the commitment to the Framework and future Strategic vision. 

Snapshot & Summary  
Type: Strategy, Framework, NA Framework
Does the Strategy or Framework integrate existing policy documents that reference urban agriculture and related area? Yes
Does the Strategy or Framework make reference to the Council Plan and appear to be integrated into the achievement of the Plan’s major objectives? Yes
Does the Strategy or Framework make reference to and integrate the objectives of The Municipal Health and Wellbeing Act (2008) into its framework? Yes
Does the Strategy or Framework recognise and address the ecological, economic, environmental, social welfare, cultural, and social benefits of urban agriculture and local food systems? Yes
Does the Strategy or Framework recognise the interconnectedness of urban food systems (from production, processing, distribution, access, consumption, nutrient/waste capturing, and recycling)? Yes
Does the Strategy or Framework have an action or implementation plan, a set of indicators, or feedback mechanisms that will allow it to evaluate its development, achievements, successes, obstacles, barriers and lessons. Yes, in development
Is there an educational component of the Strategy or Framework? Yes, but not pervasive
Is the Strategy being overseen by a dedicated Food Policy Liaison Officer? No

 

For an update on the status of Moreland Council’s commitment to an urban agriculture strategy and framework please visit the Moreland Food Gardens Network website.

 

References:

  1. Jenner, D & Roberts, E 2014, Moreland City Council: Household Survey 2013, Market Solutions Local Government Research Group, viewed 3 May 2015, <http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/mccwr/_assets/main/lib91108/mcc%20household%20survey%202013_research%20report_final.pdf>.
  2. Moreland City Council 2012a, Genetically Modified (GM) Food Plan Policy, Moreland City Council, viewed May 3 2015, <http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/mccwr/publications/policies-strategies-plans/moreland-genetically-modified-food-plan.doc>.
  3. —— 2012b, Moreland Street Landscape Strategy 2012 – 2022, Moreland City Council, viewed 3 May 2015, <http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/mccwr/publications/d12%20199636%20%20final%20adopted%20moreland%20street%20landscape%20strategy%20aug%202012%20word(2).doc>.
  4. —— 2012c, Nature strip Beautification Guidelines for general public, Moreland City Council, viewed 3 May 2015, <http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/mccwr/publications/appendix%204%20nature%20strip%20guidelines.doc>.
  5. —— 2012d, Open Space Strategy 2012-2022, Moreland City Council, viewed 3 May 2015, <http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/mccwr/publications/policies-strategies-plans/moss%20pulished%20document%202012-22.pdf>.
  6. —— 2013, Moreland Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2013 – 2017, Moreland City Council, viewed 3 May 2015, <http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/mccwr/publications/policies-strategies-plans/moreland%20health%20and%20wellbeing%20plan%202013%20-%202017.pdf>
  7. —— 2014a, Community Food Growing Policy (Draft), Moreland City Council, Melbourne, Victoria.
  8. —— 2014b, Council Resolution Action Memo: Community Food Growing Policy, Moreland City Council, Melbourne, Victoria
  9. —— 2014c, Moreland Waste and Litter Strategy 2014 – 2017, Moreland City Council, viewed 3 May 2015, <http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/mccwr/publications/policies-strategies-plans/waste%20and%20litter%20strategy%202014-2017%20-%20council%20resolved.doc>.
  10. —— 2014d, Zero Carbon Evolution: Getting on track to a carbon neutral Moreland community, Moreland City Council, viewed 3 May 2015, <http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/mccwr/publications/policies-strategies-plans/zero%20carbon%20evolution%20final%20version%20for%20web%203%20september%202014.pdf>.
  11. —— 2015a, City of Moreland profile, viewed 3 May 2015, <http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/about-moreland/demographics-statistics/profile-moreland.html>.
  12. —— 2015b, Sustainable Moreland Advisory Group, Moreland City Council, viewed 17 June 2015, <http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/about-us/your-council/council-and-committee-meetings/advisory-committees/SMAG/>.
  13. —— 2015c, Urban Agriculture and Food Production Strategy, viewed 17 June 2015, <http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/community-care/advocacy-services/urban-agriculture-and-food-production-strategy/>.
  14. Sustainable Gardening Australia 2012, Home Harvest: how to grow your own delicious fresh food, Moreland City Council, Moreland, Victoria.
  15. 2015, Seeding Change: Moreland Food Systems Framework 2015 – Project Report and Recommendations, Moreland City Council, Melbourne, Victoria, http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/globalassets/areas/social-policy/seeding-change-the-moreland-food-system-framework—project-report–recommendations.pdf
  16. 2015, The Moreland Urban Agriculture and Food Production Framework, Moreland City Council, Melbourne, Victoria.

Henry Crawford, Sustain: The Australian Food Network, 2016.

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